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The common motif of adding artificial flames to things so they'll seem more Badass. This is common in Real Life, especially pertaining to muscle cars (the idea being that the car is so fast, it literally burns as it goes), but there probably isn't a single thing on the planet that hasn't had fire painted on it at some point or another in an attempt to increase its cool factor. In fiction, the possibilities are broader, as detailed below. "Go faster stripes" are a similar phenomenon.
Not to be confused with the Incendiary Exponent, when something is actually on fire.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Yoko's famous flame-decal bra.
- Flamedramon of Digimon Adventure 02 has flame patterns on his armor, which he can back up with the real thing. When in the Digital World, his partner Davis wears a jacket with a similar pattern.
- Fairy Tail: Erza's last resort pants.
- In Michael Bay's Transformers films, Optimus Prime has red flames painted on his blue chassis, letting him keep the iconic red-chest-windows look.
- This wasn't the first time Prime had flame detailing--his popular Generation 2 Laser Optimus Prime toy featured smoldering details on the front and a giant portrait of Prime wielding a flamethrower on the sides.
- Subverted in Gran Torino where Thao Vang Lor gets the titular car on the condition that he doesn't "paint any idiotic flames on it like some white trash hillbilly..."
- It´s Greased Lightnin'!
- Harry Wayne, one of Eddie Valiant's poker buddies in Who Censored Roger Rabbit? (Literature)?, is a mechanic who decorated his Chevy with two "flaming belches" he bought from a Toon dragon.
- Katniss of The Hunger Games. This is intentional from the get-go, as her design team gives her a fire theme and coins the catchphrase "Girl on Fire". The flame motif continues through the trilogy. Fandom loves playing this up.
- Dr. House's cane, in House.
- Eddie McLintock's Cool Car in Reno 911!
- Myth Busters, with Tory welding a flame-shaped metal panel on the Pontiac Fiero they were using for the "Car Skip" myth:
Tory: You know what would make this car more awesome? Flames! 'Cuz everybody knows that cars with flames are more awesome!
- Alton's stand mixer in Good Eats has flames painted on it.
- One episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun had Dick and Mary get into an escalating prank war; Dick took advantage of the fact that he spoke Spanish and Mary didn't to tell her mechanic that she wanted a complete overhaul, including flame paintjob and horn that plays "La Cucaracha". We sadly don't get to see the results, just the look of abject horror on Mary's face when her car returns.
- Kamen Rider Fourze's Fire States has flame art on parts of his armor. There's also some on his schoolbag and shoes.
- Count how many rock musicians (especially drummers) decorate their instruments with this. This is even a part of the decoration options for drummers in Rock Band.
- In Real Life, some people who are particularly obsessed with their cars add decals on them, and they almost always involve flames or some other flame-like design. (See this awesomeness). But it could possibly be subverted; there are some cars that are so "uncool" that adding flames just makes it look corny. Kind of like multiplying one negative number.
- Tahu and Ackar of Bionicle both wield swords shaped like flames (or just swords with flame designs in the case of Tahu's Nuva upgrade), and Ackar also sports a flame-design helmet.
- Bowser's monster truck in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the "Koopa King", has some flames painted on the back. Add six tires with studded rims for the full-throttle Badass effect. The "Flame Flyer", a heavyweight kart in Mario Kart Wii, is an even better example.
- The leopard jeans from No More Heroes are dark blue and have flames embroidered on the side. Their item description says this:
Everyone knows adding flames to something makes it cooler.
- In Futurama, Cubert claims that adding flame decals to the Planet Express ship will make it go faster. His reasoning?
Cubert: I'm twelve.
- In My Life as a Teenage Robot, Jenny prepares for a party by having red and orange flames painted on her feet and calves.
- A recurring element of Alex's Unlimited Wardrobe in Totally Spies is a black shirt with a fire motif in the middle.
- On Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, Bloo wants to paint Mac's soapbox car in hot-rod flames, but Cheese wants bunnies instead. After much arguing, they compromise and paint flaming bunnies on the car.
Bloo: I don't even know you anymore.
Mac: Shut up. At least the bunnies are on fire.
- In an episode of The Venture Brothers, Hank and Dean get H.E.L.P.eR a flame job.
- Ramone from Cars.
- Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime from Transformers Generation 1.
- In the Mega Man cartoon, Fire Man has, appropriately enough, a flame pattern on his blasters.